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Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Hurricane Damage?

By Jarrod Heil

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Hurricane damage is covered by homeowners insurance, but certain stipulations alter home insurance hurricane coverage in hurricane-prone states. For instance, hurricane deductibles are required in 19 states and dictate that more money must be paid by the policyholder if hurricane damage is sustained.

If you live in a hurricane-prone area, you need to know things like the average cost of hurricane damage per year, what is a hurricane deductible and does homeowners insurance cover hurricane damage to be in good hands.

While you probably have an evacuation plan in place, know what steps to take to protect your home from hurricane damage, what to do during a hurricane and how to file a claim after a hurricane has caused damage. But you also must know what’s covered. Let’s take a look.

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Hurricane Damage?

Yes, homeowners insurance covers hurricane damage in nearly all instances. If your home is located in an area that’s prone to hurricanes, especially in Florida, you’ll have a separate hurricane deductible and your insurer may put stipulations on your policy that excludes damage from strong winds.

In that case, you may have to purchase additional homeowners insurance coverage from your insurer or seek out a company that provides that extra home insurance hurricane coverage you need. Additionally, a wind mitigation that proves your roof is aerodynamic during heavy wind storms may decrease your coverage premiums and provide superior protection from hurricanes.

If you live in an area prone to hurricanes, it’s important to conduct a home insurance review at the beginning of each hurricane season, which starts on June 1st every year. If you don’t have homeowners insurance, we highly suggest you purchase it sooner rather than later, as insurance companies can refuse to write home insurance policies when a hurricane watch has been issued.

It’s Time to Switch Your Homeowners Insurance

We partner with the nation’s top homeowners insurance companies so you can get a custom policy at an affordable price.

What Homeowners Insurance Covers During a Hurricane

  • Dwelling: Your home’s structure and everything that’s integral and attached to it, including the roof, flooring and windows.
  • Other Structures: Structures on the property that aren’t attached to the home, including a shed, carport and fence.
  • Personal Property: Belongings you keep inside your home and on your home’s property, including clothes, furniture, lawnmower.
  • Loss of Use: Reimburses you for additional living expenses if your home is damaged and you need to temporarily move out, including the cost of finding an equivalent home for rent or hotel room.
  • Liability & Medical Expenses: Covers legal expenses and medical bills if a guest is injured on your property and you’re found liable.

While homeowners insurance is designed to provide sufficient coverage for your home from hurricanes, it does not provide coverage for flooding due to hurricanes. Every homeowner must purchase a separate flood insurance policy to protect from storm surges, overflowing bodies of water and many other instances commonly covered by flood insurance.

Like getting a homeowners insurance policy or conducting a yearly review of your policy, homeowners must purchase flood insurance well in advance because each flood policy requires a 30-day buffer period before going into effect.

You do have a choice between securing private flood insurance and government-issued flood insurance, but the latter is typically reserved for those high-prone areas that may not be able to get other flood coverage.

What Is a Hurricane Deductible?

A hurricane deductible is a designated amount of money a homeowner must pay out of the insurance claim when the damage was caused by a hurricane. It’s similar to a regular home insurance deductible, but it works on a percentage-based threshold instead of a dollar-based threshold.

Hurricane deductibles began after Hurricane Katrina and are in force to protect insurance companies from catastrophic losses and potentially going bankrupt by paying out a significant number of claims at the same time.

Hurricane deductibles are typically 1 percent to 10 percent of a policyholder’s dwelling coverage, which protects the home structure and major items that make up the home, such as a roof, flooring and windows. So if a homeowner with $200,000 in dwelling coverage has a 5 percent hurricane deductible, they must $10,000 toward an insurance claim.

Currently, hurricane deductibles are required in 19 states (Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia) and Washington D.C.

Average Cost of Hurricane Damage Per Year

According to statistics compiled by the Congressional Budget Office for the U.S. Congress, hurricanes cause $34 billion to $54 billion in damages and losses to households in the United States each year. They account for another $9 billion per year in damages and losses to commercial businesses.

It’s Time to Switch Your Homeowners Insurance

We partner with the nation’s top homeowners insurance companies so you can get a custom policy at an affordable price.